HomeNewsNFL Kickoff Rule Changes Prompt Ravens Kicker Justin Tucker to Bulk Up

NFL Kickoff Rule Changes Prompt Ravens Kicker Justin Tucker to Bulk Up

The NFL’s new kickoff regulation has changed the fitness regimen of the league’s most accurate kicker.  Justin Tucker said that he has noted that XFL kickers have been engaged in 25% of the tackles with the revised kickoff play, prompting him to gain some weight.

“This may surprise some of you and my teammates because I don’t spend much time in the weight room,” Tucker stated after the Baltimore Ravens’ offseason workout Thursday. “Now I got to get some more shrugs, get the traps going a little bit, just to make sure I’m prepared for a little bit more contact.”

When asked whether he expects to gain additional muscle, Tucker said, “I have gained around 3.8 pounds. But I’ll leave it at that.

NFL owners voted 29-3 in March to accept the big kickoff modification. The XFL-introduced regulation states that although kickers are still required to start their kickoffs from their 35-yard line, the additional ten men from the kickoff squad must now form a line at the receiving team’s 40-yard line, five yards away from the returning squad. Last but not least, we have the kickers.

Tucker, who has been selected to the Pro Bowl on 7 occasions, has recorded 8 tackles in 195 games played. His most recent tackle occurred on December 17, 2022.

“I don’t think tackling is necessarily something that is encouraged (for kickers), but it’s not discouraged either,” Tucker said. “It kind of just comes with the territory. This is a football play. It is my duty as a football player to be the last man standing to block a returner from making a mad dash for the end zone.

Tucker, 34, is the most accurate kicker in NFL history, having made 90.2% of his tries (395 of 438). Since joining the league as an undrafted rookie in 2012, he has made the most field goals in the NFL (395). His 66-yard game-winning field goal against Detroit on September 26, 2021, is the longest in NFL history.

Tucker, who hasn’t practiced tackling since high school, has a fresh obstacle with the changed kickoff regulation. He mentioned the potential of conducting some tackling exercises during training camp this year. “It’ll probably be really bad TV, but we’ll have fun doing it,” Tucker said.

According to Tucker, the Baltimore coaching staff has observed every XFL kickoff and provided him with tapes to analyze. The Ravens are creating their strategies for attacking the play. Last week, Kansas City Chiefs special team coordinator Dave Toub said that the club is exploring deploying safety Justin Reid as a kickoff specialist since it would provide a more experienced tackler.

“Hell yeah, I want to be out there,” Tucker said. “At the same time, in respect to the concept that a safety, linebacker, or someone with a little more training as a covering athlete, as a tackler, I think it’s completely fair to turn over every stone and see what you’ve got. Who knows. There could be a person who can drop the ball off the tee at the 5-yard line and then go down there and smoke the ball carrier. I’d like to believe I’m that man.”

Abu Bakar
Abu Bakar
Abubakar is a writer and digital marketing expert. Who has founded multiple blogs and successful businesses in the fields of digital marketing, software development. A full-service digital media agency that partners with clients to boost their business outcomes.


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